Having a software that can copy orders and trades among multiple MT4 accounts is great, but if it cannot tweak those orders it may not be that useful after all. In a lot of cases a professional or even the average Forex trader will need to adjust the stop loss or take profit level. Have you ever needed this?
Manipulating stops before sending out the trades from the master account
You will find many reasons why you may want to alter stops before sending out the trades to the slave accounts. One of them would be if you have an EA that does not use a stop loss at all and you do not want your customers to receive unsecured orders. In this case you can just set a fixed stop loss value in the Server EA. It would not actually modify the original trades on the Metatrader account but only apply the stop loss or take profit on all trades before sending them out.
In this article i will introduce you to several stop loss and take profit manipulation methods that are integrated into Local Trade Copier.
Manipulating stops after trades are received on the slave account
The Client EA has a lot more settings to alter the stop loss and take profit values. Here is a quick overview.
The first one is the multiplier (TakeProfitMultiplier and StopLossMultiplier). It can be applied to both the stop loss and the take profit values individually.
The second one would be a fixed stop size in pips (OverrideStopLossPips and OverrideTakeProfitPips). This means that you can set the Client EA to override the stop value received from the master account and use its own stop loss value instead. This stop would then be applied to all trades.
The third option would be to swap the SL and TP orders (SwapSLTP). This means that the EA will use the stop loss value from the master trade as a take profit order on the slave trade, and the master trade take profit order would be used as a stop loss order for the slave trade. This option is mostly useful when you copy trades and you have the reverse mode activated.
The fourth option is very useful as well. That is an emergency stop loss value (EmergencyStopLossPips). By setting this up you will add some extra security on your trades. It will only be applied to the trades that do not have a stop loss on the master account.
The fifth option is to close all trades when a certain profit level is reached (TakeProfitMoney and TakeProfitIfEquityAboveXMoney). This option will close all trades when the total profit in the trading account reaches a certain amount in the deposit currency. This feature is only applied to the trades opened by the Client EA.
The sixth option is to set a minimum allowed stop loss value (MinSLAllowed and IgnoreTooSmallSLTrades) to be used by the Client EA. Here you have two options. You can either ignore the master account trades that have a stop loss that is too small, or you can make the Client EA change that stop loss to your minimum allowed value.
The seventh option is to have a maximum allowed stop loss size (MaxSLAllowed and IgnoreTooBigSLTrades). This is similar to the previous sixth option. Here you can set the EA to not accept the trades if the stop loss is too big, or you can set the EA to adjust the stop loss to your maximum allowed level.
The eight option is to set a global stop loss value (StopLossMoney, StopIfEquityBelowXMoney and StopIfEquityBelowXPercent). It can be represented either in money or as a percentage of the slave account balance.
The ninth option is worthy of mention here as well. It’s an option to set the Client EA to wait until the SL or TP level is hit on a slave account (WaitForSLTP) instead of closing it immediately by following the master account.
Loss and profit multiplier
The trade copier allows the use of a multiplier for the stop loss or take profit values. This can be any number that you choose. The default value for the multiplier settings is 1.0. This leaves the stop and profit values unchanged.
The copier program has two different multiplier settings. The stop loss multiplier and the take profit multiplier. This option is available only in the Client EA for now.
If you want to lower the size of the stop loss, just set a multiplier below 1.0. For example, in order to cut the stop size in half you need to set the multiplier value to 0.5. If the stop loss is 80 pips then 80 x 0.5 = 40 pips.
If you want to make the stop loss size bigger, just set the multiplier value above 1.0. For example, to double the size you need to set the multiplier value to 2.0.
You can also remove the stop loss or take profit values completely by setting the multiplier values to 0 (zero).
Overriding initial stops
The trade copier software can be configured to override the initial stop loss and take profit values before the trades are sent from a master account or after the trades are received on the slave account. This means that both the Server EA and Client EA have the option to change these settings.
For example, you set the Server EA to override the stop loss value and use a fixed size of 50 pips. In this case, regardless of what stop loss value is set for the trades on the master account, all of them will be sent to the slave accounts with a stop loss of 50 pips. The Client EA will not know that the stop loss values were altered. It will look like all of the trades on the master account simply have a 50 pips stop loss.
Another example would be to use this option on a slave account. This will mean setting the Client EA to override the stop or take profit values. For example, if we set one of the Client EAs to override the initial take profit value and use a 80 pips value instead, only this EA will change the take profit to 80 pips. The rest of the Client EAs will use the initial take profit values set by the master account.
Now imagine that a trade with a 55 pips take profit value was opened. All Client EAs will copy that trade and use its original take profit of 55 pips but the Client EA we configured earlier to override this value to 80 pips will change the take profit from 55 to 80 pips.
This is really useful when you need to use different take profit values on multiple MT4 accounts. For example, you can set one EA to copy trades with a 50 pips TP, another EA to copy trades with a 70 pips TP and have the rest of Client EAs just copy the original values. By using this option it’s easy to override the SL and TP values for each Client EA individually.
Swapping the SL and TP values
The Client EA has a special feature called SwapSLTP. This feature simply swaps around the figures for the TP and the SL values. If the master account sends a trade with a 35 pips SL and a 50 pips TP, the Client EA will keep the original trade direction unchanged and just swap the SL from 35 pips to 50 pips and the TP from 50 pips to 35 pips.
This feature is mostly used in conjunction with the ReverseTrades option. When a trade is copied in reverse mode its SL and TP will be swapped automatically. With the SwapSLTP you can actually set the EA to swap these values back around.
Securing your positions with an emergency stop loss
This feature is called EmergencyStopLossPips. Using this feature you can set an emergency stop loss for all of the trades that you receive from the master account. This means that if you receive a trade without a stop loss, the stop loss value that you place here will be applied. For example, If you set this value to 50 pips, the Client EA will always set a 50 pips stop loss on all trades that do not have a stop loss set by the master account.
This is very useful when you’re copying trades as mistakes can happen, a trader or a Forex robot can fail to place a stop loss on the master account for any reason. It could be a simple error or an intention to hedge which you might not be comfortable with. It is your money so keep them safe by setting an emergency stop loss.
It is recommended that you set the emergency stop loss to the maximum stop loss value that is usually used by the master account. This way your positions will be safe and you will be sure that you are not using a stop loss value that is too low to copy the trading method used on the master account.
Take profit on all of the trades when a certain amount of money is reached
This take profit value is expressed in the currency of the trading account. It will act as a hidden take profit value and close all trades when the amount of profit expressed in the currency of the account reaches the value that was set by this variable.
Say you set the EA to close all trades when their combined profit reaches $1000. The EA will then start to calculate the total profit of all the trades opened by itself and when that floating profit reaches $1000 or more the Client EA will close all trades.
The already closed trades are of course not added when calculating the total profit, the EA only counts the trades that are already open.
Shift stop loss and take profit values by a certain amount of pips
This option is a part of the ShiftEntryPips feature and is disabled by default. If this option is turned on, the Client EA will shift the stop loss and take profit at the same time when it shifts the entry price.
You set the EA to shift the entry price by 20 pips against its original direction. Now let’s say that for example, the master account opens a buy trade at 1.2230. This trade will be placed as a buy limit pending order set at 1.2210 on the slave account. The SL will also be shifted 20 pips down as well as the take profit order.
Minimum and maximum stop loss value
The Client EA can be configured to have a minimum or a maximum stop loss rule. You can either set the EA to ignore the trades that do not meet these requirements or the EA can take the trades but adjust their stop loss accordingly.
For example, the Client EA can be set not to accept trades with a stop loss that is lower than 10 pips from any master account. In this case all of the trades that have stop loss value lower than 10 pips will be ignored. Or you can have the EA configured in a such a way as to accept the trades but set the stop loss value to 10 pips. Now the EA will convert the stop loss values set at lower than 10 pips to 10 pips.
The minimum stop loss rule helps to protect your account from trades with ridiculously small stop values that will likely be hit, especially during economic news releases or in cases where the slave account has bigger spreads then the master account.
You can also set the EA to have a maximum stop loss value of let’s say, a 100 pips. If the stop loss is bigger than 100 pips, you can tell the EA to ignore such a trade completely. Alternatively, you can set the stop loss to the maximum allowed value, which is 100 pips in our case.
The maximum stop loss limit helps to protect your account from trades with a high stop loss value that you may not be comfortable with.
However, you have to keep in mind that such stop loss manipulations may lead to huge differences in trading results between the master and the slave account.
Global stop loss expressed as a percentage of the account or as account currency
You have the ability to set a global stop loss on any slave account. In this case the Client EA will close all of the trades that are currently running when the overall loss value reaches a certain threshold. You can set this level in either money as expressed in the currency of the account or as a percentage of the slave account balance.
Let’s say that you set the EA to use a global stop loss level of 10% and your slave account balance is $5000 USD. This means that the EA will close all running trades when the total loss in the account reaches the $500 USD mark.
With the account balance now depleted to $4500, the EA will now recalculate the global stop loss level for the next trade. Ten percent of a $4500 account is $450. This is the new loss limit for any new trades.
It is also possible to set the Client EA to stop accepting new trades after global stop loss value is reached. In such case you would need to restart Client EA manually to start accepting new trades.
Waiting for the stop loss and take profit levels to be hit
The Client EA has a special feature built-in that’s called WaitForSLTP.
With the default settings the Client EA will always close the trade on a slave account when its parent trade is closed on the master account. This is done because the main purpose of any trade copier is to follow the master account and replicate all of the trading actions on the slave accounts.
But there are instances where for example, a trade might hit a take profit level on the master account but not hit the same take profit level in the slave account. Some of the reasons why a take profit level is not reached at the same time in both accounts may include: different spreads, prices feeds, delays, connection problems etc. Despite the fact that the take profit has not been reached on the slave account, the default setting of the Client EA is to close any slave trade that does not have a parent trade, so in this case the trade would be closed by the EA despite not having hit the full take profit.
By using the WaitForSLTP feature you can override this default setting of the Client EA and instead set the Client EA to ignore any “close trade” commands received from the master. Now the EA will close the trade only when a stop loss or a take profit level is hit.
This does not disable manual trading and you are still allowed to close, modify or open any trade manually at any point in time.
The Local Trade Copier has a lot of options to manipulate the stop loss and take profit values of your trades. If used properly they can help ease the path to your Forex trading success.